ISLAMABAD - The Vice President SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), Iftikhar Ali Malik Friday welcomed prime minister's plans to broaden tax base, saying that wealthy and potential non-taxpayers must be brought into tax net.

Chambers would cooperate with the government in this regard, he said while talking to a high level delegation of traders, importers and  exporters from Sialkot led by Abdul Ghafoor Butt, Executive Member, Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry here.

According to press released issued here, Malik said that ratio of tax payers in Pakistan was even less than Afghanistan, adding the broadening of tax net was must  for strengthening the national economy and for the survival of the country.

He said that Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) and top leadership of United business Group (UBG) is in principle agreed to lend helping hand to the government in this regard.

He said plugging of revenue leakage and broadening of tax net would ultimately benefit the existing tax payers in terms of reduction in heavy taxation.

He said that the UBG and all chambers across the country would not only resolve the issues being confronted by the traders but also convince the trading community to pay their due taxes timely.

He said Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi  has assured to address all the genuine grievances of the business community on top priority and had directed all ministry and attached departments to resolve traders' problems on priority basis.

 "Around 1.2 million people pay taxes in Pakistan while the number of traders paying tax on electricity bills surpasses seven million, this gap can be bridged through sincere efforts backed by the government," he observed.

He said there is consensus amongst the tax experts that most of the problems are stemming from weakness in the effective implementation of fiscal laws.